امام حسين(عليه السلام)
پرتوى از سيره و سيماى سالار شهيدان(عليه
ميلاد با بركت
حضرت ابى عبداللّه الحسين(عليه السلام)، دومين فرزند امام على و فاطمه زهرا(عليهما
السلام) بنا بر مشهور، روز سوم شعبان سال چهارم هجرى در مدينه بوده است.
پس از ولادت، پيامبر اكرم(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) نام وى را «حسين» گذاشت، آن گاه
او را بوسيد و گريست و فرمود: تو را مصيبتى عظيم در پيش است، خداوندا! كشنده او را
لعنت كن! آن حضرت به مصباح الهدى و سفينة النّجاة و سيّد الشّهداء و ابوعبداللّه
مسعودى مىنويسد: امام حسين(عليه السلام) مدّت هفت سال با رسول خدا(صلى الله عليه
وآله وسلم)بود و در اين مدّت، آن حضرت خود متصدّى غذا دادن و علم و ادب آموختن به
امام حسين(عليه السلام)بود.
شدّت علاقه پيامبر اكرم(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) به حسين(عليه السلام) به قدرى بود
كه كوچكترين ناراحتى او را نمىتوانست تحمّل كند.
روزى پيامبر از در خانه فاطمه(عليها السلام) مىگذشت، صداى گريه حسين را شنيد، وارد
خانه شد و به دخترش فرمود: مگر نمىدانى كه گريه حسين در من چقدر مؤثّر است، آن گاه
طفل را بوسيد و گفت:«خداوندا! من اين كودك را دوست دارم تو نيز او را دوست
بدار.»حديث معروف «حُسَيْنٌ مِنّى وَ أَنـَا مِنْ حُسَيْن، أَحَبَّ اللّهُ مَنْ
أَحَبَّ حُسَيْناً، حُسَيْنٌ سِبْطٌ مِنَ الاَْسْباطِ.»
; يعنى: «حسين از من است و من از حسينم، خداوند دوست دارد كسى را كه حسين را دوست
مىدارد، حسين سبطى از اسباط است.» موردِ قبول شيعه و سنّى است.
حسين بن على(عليه السلام) مدّتِ شش سالِ دوران كودكىاش را با پيغمبر اكرم(صلى الله
عليه وآله وسلم)سپرى كرد و پس از رحلت آن بزرگوار، مدّت سى سال در كنار پدرش
على(عليه السلام) به سر برد و در همه حوادث پرتلاطم دوران آن حضرت حضورى پرتلاش
پس از شهادت اميرمؤمنان(عليه السلام) ده سال تمام همراه و همگام با برادر عزيزش
امام حسن(عليه السلام)زندگى كرد و پس از شهادت برادر در سال 50 هجرى، به مدّت ده
سال، به ارزيابى حوادث زمان پرداخت و بارها به معاويه پرخاش كرد و پس از مرگ او در
برابر حكومت يزيد، شجاعانه ايستادگى و از بيعت با او خوددارى كرد، تا اين كه در
محرّم سال 61 هجرى به همراه گروهى از بستگان و ياران باوفايش، در سرزمين كربلا به
حسين بن على(عليه السلام) نمونه كامل يك انسان برجسته و متشخّص بود و نام حسين در
اذهان، همراه با شجاعت و ظلم ستيزى و جوش و خروش بر ضدّ هر گونه ستم و تبعيض است.
در دوران پنج سال حكومت پدر با او همكارى مىكرد و در پى چاره مىگشت كه پيش از آن كه
امّت، نَفَسِ واپسين را برآورد، نفحه حياتى در او بدمد و در تاريخ طرحى نو دراندازد.
سال شصتم به پايان نرسيده بود، امام حسين(عليه السلام) ديد كه مردم در مقابل برادرش
امام حسن(عليه السلام) از نفس افتاده و هرچه از باقيمانده مكتب در ميانشان بوده از
آنها دور گرديده و توده مردم، خود را در گلوى گشاد بنىاميّه انداختهاند.
امام احساس كرد كه براى به حركت درآوردن امّت، ديگر خطابه و سخنرانى حماسى كافى
نيست، بلكه بايد اراده شكست خورده امّت را به پذيرفتن فداكارى وادارد و آنان را بر
ضدّ باطل بشوراند تا زمينه تحقّقِ حقّ را فراهم سازد و در اين راه، با فداكارى
منحصر به فرد خود، براى حال و آينده معيارى ارزشمند و ثابت بر جاى نهاد.
هدف قيام امام حسين(عليه السلام) را به آسانى و
بدون تكلّف مىتوان از سخنان آن حضرت استنباط كرد.
آن گاه كه امام(عليه السلام) بر اثر تهاجم عمّال حكومت ناچار شد از مدينه خارج گردد،
در ضمن نوشته هاى، هدف حركت خود را چنين شرح داد:
1 ـ «إِنّى لَمْ أَخْرُجْ أَشِرًا وَلا بَطَرًا وَلا مُفْسِدًا وَلا ظالِمًا
وَإِنَّما خَرَجْتُ لِطَلَبِ الاِْصْلاحِ فى أُمَّةِ جَدّى، أُريدُ أَنْ آمُرَ
بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَأَنْهى عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَأَسيرَ بِسيرَةِجَدّى وَأَبى عَلِىِّ
بْنِ أَبيطالِب»; يعنى: «من از روى خود خواهى و خوشگذرانى و يا براى فساد و ستمگرى
قيام نكردم، من فقط براى اصلاح در امّت جدّم از وطن خارج شدم.
مىخواهم امر به معروف و نهى از منكر كنم و به سيره و روش جدّم و پدرم على بن
ابيطالب عمل كنم.»در اين سخن چند نكته مهمّ، شايان توجّه است:1 ـ اصلاح امّت، 2 ـ
امر به معروف و نهى از منكر، 3 ـ تحقّقِ سيره و روش پيامبر و على(عليهم السلام).
2 ـ آن حضرت در مقام ديگرى فرموده است:«أَللّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ تَعْلَمُ ما كانَ مِنّا
تَنافُسًا فى سِلْطان وَلاَاِلْتماسًا مَنْ فُضُولِ الْحُطامِ وَلكِنَّ لِنَرُدَّ
الْمَعالِمَ مِنْ دينِكَ وَنَظْهِرَ الاِْصْلاحَ فى بِلادِكَ وَيَأْمَنَ
الْمَظْلُومُونَ مَنْ عِبادِكَ ويُعْمَلَ بِفَرائِضِكَ وَسُنَنِكَ
وَأَحْكامِكَ.»«بار خدايا! تو مىدانى كه آنچه از ما اظهار شده براى رقابت در قدرت و
دستيابى به كالاى دنيا نبوده، بلكه هدف ما اين است كه نشانه هاى دينت را به جاى خود
برگردانيم و بلادت را اصلاح نماييم، تا ستمديدگان از بندگانت امنيّت يابند و به
واجبات و سنّتها و دستورهاى دينت عمل شود.»در اين سخن هم چند نكته قابل توجّه است:1
ـ برگرداندن نشانه و علائم دين به جاى اصلى خود،2 ـ اصلاحات در همه شهرها،3 ـ ايجاد
امنيّت براى مردم،4 ـ فراهم ساختن زمينه عمل به واجبات و مستحبّات و احكام الهى.
3 ـ در برخورد با سپاه حرّ بن يزيد رياحى فرمود:«أَيُّهَا النّاسُ فَإِنَّكُمْ إِنْ
تَتَّقُوااللهَ وَتَعْرِفُوا الْحَقَّ لاَِهْلِهِ يَكُنْ أَرْضى للهِ وَنَحْنُ
أَهْلُ بَيْتِ مُحَمَّد(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) أَوْلى بِوِلايَةِ هذا الاَْمْرِ
مِنْ هؤُلاءِ الْمُدَّعينَ ما لَيْسَ لَهُمْ وَالسّائرينَ بِالْجَوْرِ
وَالْعُدْوانِ.»«اى مردم اگر شما از خدا بترسيد و حقّ را براى اهلش بشناسيد، اين
كار بهتر موجب خشنودى خداوند خواهد بود.
و ما اهل بيت پيامبر(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)، به ولايت و رهبرى، از اين مدّعيانِ
نالايق و عاملان جور و تجاوز، شايسته تريم .»
4 ـ و نيز در مقام ديگر فرمود:«إِنّا أَحَقُّ بِذلِكَ الْحَقِّ الْمُسْتَحَقِّ
عَلَيْنا مِمَّنْ تَوَلاّهُ.»«ما اهل بيت به حكومت و زمامدارى ـ نسبت به كسانى كه
آن را تصرّف كرده اند ـ سزاوارتريم.»از اين دو بخش از سخن امام(عليه السلام) نيز به
وضوح استفاده مىشود كه آن حضرت خود را شايسته رهبرى و زمامدارى بر مردم مىداند، نه
يزيد فاسد و دستگاه جائر او را.
بنابراين، هدف امام حسين(عليه السلام) در اين قيام ، تحقّقِ كاملِ حقّ بوده است.
امورى كه آن حضرت به عنوان فلسفه قيامش به آنها اشاره مىكند، از قبيل: اصلاح امّت،
امر به معروف و نهى از منكر، تحقّق سيره پيامبر و على، برگرداندن علائم و نشانه هاى
دين به جاى خود، اصلاحات در شهرها، امنيّت اجتماعى، فراهم ساختن زمينه اجراى احكام،
همه و همه اين امور، زمانى قابل تحقّق و اجراست كه ولايت و حكومت در مجرا و مسير
اصلىاش قرار گيرد و به دست
امام(عليه السلام)بيفتد; لذا فرمود: «ما اهل بيت شايسته اين مقاميم نه متصرّفانِ
متجاوز و جائر».
پس هدف نهايى آن حضرت، تشكيل حكومت اسلامى بر اساس سيره پيامبر و على بوده است; كه
در پرتو آن، احكام الهى اجرا مىشود و نشانه هاى دين آشكار و شهرها اصلاح و امنيّت
پابرجا و امر به معروف و نهى از منكر انجام، و سيره و سنّت پيامبر و على متحقّق، و
در نتيجه كار امّت اصلاح مىگردد.
نكته شايان توجّه اين كه تلاش خالصانه براى تشكيل حكومت اسلامى كه منبع و منشأ تمام
خيرات و بركات است ـ و شعبه مهّم ولايت على و آل على(عليه السلام) هم كه همان قبول
حاكميّت و پذيرش تفسير آنان از دين است ـ غير از حكومت و سلطنت استبدادى و رياست
طلبى و كشورگشايى بر اساس هواهاى نفسانى است كه منشأ تمام مفاسد و شُرور است.
نتايج قيام حسينى
1ـ درهم شكستن اركان مخوف دين سالارى ساختگى اُمَوى
كه امويان و يارانشان سلطه سلطنتى خود را بر آن استوار ساخته بودند و رسوا ساختن
حاكمان تبهكار بنىاميّه كه پيوسته در صدد اِحياى نظام جاهلى بودند.
2ـ بيدار كردن وجدانهاى خفته : شهادت فجيع امام حسين(عليه السلام)در كربلا موجى
شديد از احساس گناه در وجدان مسلمانانى كه او را يارى نكردند برانگيخت.
اين احساس گناه دو جنبه داشت: از يك طرف آنها را وادار مىساخت كه گناهى را كه مرتكب
شده اند با كفّاره بشويند و از طرف ديگر به كسانى كه آنها را به ارتكاب چنين گناهى
واداشته بودند، كينه و نفرت بورزند.
به طورى كه انگيزه قيام توّابين همان كفّاره يارى نكردن امام حسين(عليه السلام)، و
انتقام گرفتن از امويان بود.
مقدّر چنين بود كه آتش اين احساس گناه، پيوسته برافروخته ماند و انگيزه انتقام از
بنىاميّه در هر فرصت به انقلاب و قيام بر ضدّ ستمگران منتهى گردد.
3ـ ارائه اخلاق جديد : قيام امام حسين(عليه السلام) موجب آن گرديد كه در جامعه،
نوعى اخلاق بلند نظرانه پديد آيد.
امام(عليه السلام) و فرزندان و يارانش در قيام بر ضدّ بنىاميّه، اخلاق عالى اسلامى
را با همه صفات و طراوت آن نشان دادند.
آنان اين اخلاق را بر زبان نياوردند، بلكه با خون خود آن را مسجّل ساختند.
مردم عادى قبايل عادت كرده بودند كه دين و وجدان خود را به بهاى اندك بفروشند و در
برابر ستمكاران گردن خم كنند تا از عطاهاى آنان بهره مند گردند.
هدف مسلمانان عادى همان زندگى روزمرّه شخصى بود و تنها به زندگانى خويش مىانديشيدند.
در آنان، دردهاى اجتماعى تأثيرى نداشت، به قول شاعر :از درد سخن گفتن و از درد
شنيدن با مردم بىدرد ندانى كه چه دردى است!تنها كوشش آنان اين بود كه دسترنج خويش
را حفظ كنند و به توجيهات رهبران رام باشند، مبادا نامشان از فهرست حقوق بگيران حذف
شود، لذا در مقابل جور و ستمى كه مىديدند، خاموشى مىگزيدند و تمام تلاش آنها اين
بود كه مفاخر قبيله اى خود را بازگو كنند و سنّتهاى جاهلى خويش را زنده سازند.
اصحاب حسين(عليه السلام) مردمى ديگر بودند كه در سرنوشت خويش با امام همراه شدند و
با اين كه داراى زن و فرزند و دوستانى بودند و از بيت المال هم حقوقى دريافت
مىنمودند و زندگانى نسبتاً راحتى داشتند و مىتوانستند از لذّت هاى حيات برخوردار
گردند، از همه اينها چشم پوشيدند و براى نثار جان در راه حسين(عليه السلام) با
ستمگران به ستيز برخاستند.
براى بيشتر مسلمانان آن روز، اين نكته بسى جالب بود كه يك انسان بين زندگانى
زبونانه و مرگ شرافتمندانه، مرگ با عزّت را بر زندگى با ذلّت ترجيح دهد.
براى مردم اين نمونه اى عالى و شگفت انگيز بود.
چنان خصلتى وجدان هر مسلمانى را تكان مىداد و او را از خواب سنگين و طولانى راحت
طلبى و فرصت طلبى و بيدار مىكرد تا زندگى اسلامى شكلى ديگر گيرد; شكلى كه سالها پيش
از قيام حسين(عليه السلام)از ميان رفته بود.
قيام امام حسين(عليه السلام) پس از ديرى خاموشى، از نو موجب برانگيختن روح مبارزه
جويى گرديد و اين چنين قيام حسينى و كربلاى خونين او، همه سدّهاى روحى و اجتماعى را
كه مانع قيام و انقلاب مىشد، درهم فرو ريخت.
قيام حسين(عليه السلام) به مردم اين درس را آموخت كه به آنان بگويد: تسليم نشويد،
انسانيّت خود را مورد معامله قرار ندهيد، با نيروى اهريمن بجنگيد، و همه چيز را در
راه تحقّق آرمانهاى اسلام محمّدى(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) فدا سازيد.
قيام حسينى در وجدان گروه بسيارى از مردم اين انديشه را برانگيخت كه با حمايت نكردن
از حسين(عليه السلام) مرتكب گناه شده اند و بايد كفّاره بپردازند و كفّاره آن جز
مبارزه با حاكمان جور و ظلم و ريشه كن نمودن بنياد فاسد استبداد، چيز ديگرى نيست.
اين گونه پس از نهضت حسينى(عليه السلام)، در مكتب، روح انقلاب دميده شد و مردم در
انتظار رهبرى قاطع بودند و هرگاه پيشگامِ ظلم ستيزى را مىيافتند بر ضدّ حكومت
بنىاميّه دست به انقلاب مىزدند.
در همه اين انقلابها، شعار انقلابيون، خونخواهى
انقلاب توّابين و انقلاب مردم مدينه و قيام مختار ثقفى در سال 66 هجرى و انقلاب زيد
بن على بن حسين(عليه السلام) در سال 122 هجرى، نمونه هايى از ظلم ستيزى است كه همه
آنها ريشه در حركت و قيام بىنظير حسينى(عليه السلام)دارد.
در اين انقلابها مسلمانان پيوسته به دنبال آزادى و عدالت بودند ـ كه حكومتكنندگان
آن را خفه كرده بودند ـ و تمام اين تحرّكات به بركت تحرّك و قيام حسينى بود.
و اين گونه حسين(عليه السلام) درس حريّت و آزادگى و استقلال و ظلم ستيزى را تا
دامنه قيامت به همه انسانها آموخت.
سخنان حضرت ابىعبداللّه الحسين، بهترين معرّف هدف والاى آن حضرت است، از سرتاسر
كلمات حضرتش نداى انسان دوستى و حريّت و عدالت و ظلم ستيزى و مقاومت در برابر جور
حاكمان زر و زور به گوش مىرسد.
از ميان كلمات قدسى آن حضرت، چهل حديث را برگزيدهايم كه تقديم خوانندگان ارجمند
Al-Husayn ibn 'Ali Sayyidu'sh-Shuhada
(Peace be Upon him)
Agnomen: Abu 'Abdillah.
Father' s name: 'Ali Amir al-Mu'minin.
Mother's name:Fatimah (Daughter of the Holy Prophet).
Birth: In Medina on Thursday, 3rd Sha'ban 4 AH.
Death: Martyred in Karbala' (Iraq) at the age of 57, on Friday,
10th Muharram 61 AH and buried there.
In the House of the Holy Prophet, which presented the
best image of both the worlds - the heaven and the earth- a child who benefited
humanity as if he was a Divine Impression reflecting the earth, was born on one
of the nights of the month of Sha'ban.
His father was Imam 'Ali, the best model of kindness
towards his friends and the bravest against the enemies of Islam, and his mother
was Hadrat Fatimah, the only daughter and child of the Holy Prophet, who had as
universally acknowledged, inherited the qualities of her father.
Imam Husayn, is the third Apostolic Imam.
When the good news of his birth reached the Holy
Prophet, he came to his daughter's house, took the newly-born child in his arms,
recited adhan and iqamah in his right and left ears respectively, and on the 7th
day of his birth, after performing the rites of 'aqlqah, named him al-Husayn, in
compliance with Allah's command.
'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas relates: "On the very day when
Imam Husayn was born, Allah ordered angel Gabriel to descend and congratulate
the Holy Prophet on His Behalf and on his own.
While descending, Gabriel passed over an island where
the angel Futrus had been banished due to his delay in executing a commission
assigned by Allah.
He was deprived of his wings and expelled to the
island where he remained for several years praying and worshipping Allah and
asking for His forgiveness.
"When the angel Futrus saw Gabriel, he called out, '
Where are you going, O Gabriel?' To this he replied, ' Husayn, the grandson of
Muhammad is born, and for this very reason Allah has commanded me to convey His
congratulations to His Apostle.
' Thereupon, the angel said, ' Can you carry me also
along with you? May Muhammad recommend my case to Allah.'
Gabriel took the angel along with him, came to the
Holy Prophet, offered congratulations to him on behalf of Allah and himself and
referred the case of the angel to him.
The Holy Prophet said to Gabriel, 'Ask the angel to
touch the body of the newly-born child and return to his place in Heaven.
' On doing this, the angle re-obtained his wings
instantly and praising the Holy Prophet and his newly- born grandson, ascended
towards the Heaven.
Hasan and Husayn, the two sons of the Holy Imam 'Ali
ibn Abi Talib and Hadrat Fatimah, our Lady of Light, were respected and revered
as the 'Leaders of the Youths of Paradise' as stated by the Holy Prophet.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be Upon him and his
progeny, had openly prophesied that the faith of Islam would be rescued by his
second grandson Husayn, when Yazid, son of Mu'awiayh, would endeavour to destroy
Yazid was known for his devilish character and brutish
He was known as the most licentious of men. The people
having known and understood the character of Yazid, formed a covenant by which
Mu'awiyah could not appoint Yazid as his successor.
This undertaking was given by Mu'awiyah to Imam Hasan
from whom Mu`awiyah had snatched power.
Mu'awiyah violated this undertaking and nominated
Yazid who succeeded his father.
Immediately as he came to power, Yazid began acting in
full accordance with his known character.
He started interfering in the fundamentals of the
faith and practiced every vice and wickedness freely with the highest degree of
impunity and yet held himself out as the successor of the Holy Prophet,
demanding allegiance to himself as the leading guide of the faith.
Paying allegiance to Yazid was nothing short of
acknowledging the devil as Cod.
If a divine personality like the holy Imam Husayn had
agreed to his authority, it would be actually recommending the devil to humanity
in place of Cod.
Yazid demanded allegiance from the Holy Imam Husayn,
who could have never agreed to it at any cost.
The people fearing death and destruction at the hands
of the tyrant had yielded to him out of fear.
Imam Husayn said that come what- ever may, he would
never yield to the devil in place of God and undo what his grandfather, the Holy
Prophet had established.
The refusal of the Holy Imam to pay allegiance to this
fiend, marked the start of the persecution of the Holy Imam.
As a result he had retired to Medina where he led a
Even here he was not allowed to live in peace, and was
forced to seek refuge in Mecca where also he was badly harassed, and Yazid
plotted to murder him in the very precincts of the great sanctuary of Ka'bah.
In order to safeguard the great sanctuary, Imam Husayn
decided to leave Mecca for Kufah just a day before tile haj (pilgrimage).
When asked the reason for the mysterious departure
from Mecca foregoing the pilgrim- age which was only the next day Imam Husayn
said that he would perform this year's pilgrimage at Karbala', Offering the
sacrifice not of any animals, but of his kith and kin and some faithful friends.
He enumerated the names of his kith and kin who would
lay down their lives with him in the great sacrifice at Karbala'.
The people of Kufah getting tired of the tyrannic and
satanic rule of Yazid, had written innumerable letters and sent emissaries to
Imam Husayn to come over and give them guidance in faith.
Although Imam Husayn knew the ultimate end of the
invitations, he as the divinely chosen Imam could not refuse to give the
guidance sought for.
When the Holy Imam with his entourage had reached
karbala', his horse mysteriously stopped and would not move any further.
Upon this the holy Imam declared: "This is the land,
the land of sufferings and tortures.
" He alighted from his horse, and ordered his
followers to encamp there saying: Here shall we be martyred and our children be
Here shall our tents be burned and our family
arrested. This is the land about which my grandfather the Holy Prophet had
foretold, and his prophecy will certainly be fulfilled."
On the 7th of Muharram water supply to the lmam's
carnp was cut and the torture of thirst and hunger started.
the holy Imam's camp consisted of ladies, innocent
children including babies and some male members of the Holy prophet's family;
along with a small band of some faithful friends of Imam Husayn who had chosen
to die with the Holy Imam, fighting against the devil for the cause of Allah.
* * *
The Day of 'Ashura (10th of Muharram): At dawn the
Imam glanced over the army of Yazid and saw 'Umar ibn Sa'd ordering his forces
to march to- wards him.
He gathered his followers and addressed them thus:
"Allah has, this day, permitted us to be engaged in a Holy War and He shall
reward us for our martyrdom.
So prepare yourselves to fight against the enemies of
Islam with patience and resistance.
O sons of the noble and self-respecting persons, be
patient ! heath is nothing but a bridge which you must cross after facing trials
and tribulations so as to reach Heaven and its joys.
Which of you do not like to go from this prison
(world) to the lofty palaces (Paradise ) ? " Having heard the Imam's address,
all his companions were overwhelmed and cried out, "O our Master! We are ail
ready to defend you and your Ahlu 'I-hayt, and to sacrifice our lives for the
cause of Islam.
" Imam Husayn sent out from his camp one after an-
other to fight and sacrifice their lives in the way of the Lord.
Lastly, when all his men and children had laid down
their lives, Imam Husayn brought his six-month old baby son 'Ali al-Asghar, and
offering him on his own hands, demanded some water for the baby, dying of
The thirst of the baby was quenched by a deadly
poisoned arrow from the brute's forces, which pinned the baby's neck to the arm
of the helpless father.
At last when the six-month old baby also was killed,
Imam Husayn addressed Allah: "O Lord! Thy Husayn has offered in Thy way whatever
Thou hath blessed him with.
Bless Thy Husayn, O Lord! with the acceptance of this
Everything Husayn could do till now was through Thy
help and by Thy Grace." Lastly, Imam Husayn came into the field and was killed,
the details of which merciless slaughter are heart rending.
The forces of Yazid having killed Imam Husayn, cut and
severed his head from his body and raised it on a lance.
The severed head of the Holy Imam began glorifying
Allah from the point of the lance saying, 'Allahu Akbar'.
"All glory be to Allah Who is the Greatest!" After the
wholesale, merciless and most brutal slaughter of the Holy Imam with his
faithful band, the help- less ladies and children along with the ailing son of
Imam Husayn, Imam 'Ali Zaynu 'l-'Abidin, were taken captives.
* * *
Some Sayings of the Holy Prophet During his Lifetime
with Reference to Imam Husayn: 1. Hasan and Husayn are the Leaders of the Youths
2. Husayn is from me and I am from Husayn, Allah
befriends those who befriend Husayn and He is the enemy of those who bear enmity
3. Whosoever wishes to see such a person who lives on
earth but whose dignity is honoured by the Heaven- dwellers, should see my
grandson Husayn. 4. O my son! thy flesh is my flesh and thy blood is my blood;
thou art a leader, the son of a leader and the brother of a leader; thou art a
spiritual guide, the son of a spiritual guide and the brother of a spiritual
guide; thou art an Apostolical Imam, the son of an Apostolical Imam and the
brother of an Apostolical Imam; thou art the father of nine Imams, the ninth of
whom would be the Qa'im (the last infallible spiritual guide). 5. The punishment
inflicted on the murderer of Husayn in Hell would be equal to half of the total
punishment to be imposed on the entire sinners of the world.
6. When the Holy Prophet informed Hadrat Fatimah of
the martyrdom in store for his grandson, she burst into tears and asked, "O my
father ! when would my son be martyred?" "In such a critical moment," replied
the Holy Prophet, "When neither I nor you, nor 'ALI would be alive." This
accentuated her grief and she inquired again, "Who then, O my father, would
commemorate Husayn's martyrdom? " The Holy Prophet said, "The men and the women
of a particular sect of my followers, who will befriend my Ahlul-Bayt, will
mourn for Husayn and commemorate his martyrdom each year in every century." Ibn
Sa'd narrates from ash-Sha'bi: Imam 'Ali, while on his way to Siffin, passed
through the desert of Karbala', there he stopped and wept very bitterly.
When interrogated regarding the cause of his weeping,
he commented that one day he visited the Holy Prophet and found him weeping.
When he asked the Apostle of Allah as to what was the
reason which made him weep, he replied, "O 'ALI, Gabriel has just been with me
and informed me that my son Husayn would be martyred in Karbala', a place near
the bank of the River Euphrates.
This moved me so much that I could not help weeping."
Anas ibn Harith narrates: One day the Holy Prophet
ascended the pulpit to deliver a sermon to his associates while Imam Husayn and
Imam Hasan were sitting before him.
When his address was over, he put his left hand on
Imam Husayn and raising his head towards Heaven, said: "O my Lord! I am Muhammad
Thy slave and Thy Prophet, and these two are the distinguished and pious members
of my family who would fortify my cause after me.
O my Lord! Gabriel has in- formed me that my son
Husayn would be killed. O my Lord! bless my cause in recompense for Husayn's
martyrdom, make him the leader of the martyrs, be Thou his helper and guardian
and do not bless his murderers."
Sir Muhammad Iqbal says: Imam Husayn uprooted
despotism forever till the Day of Resurrection.
He watered the dry garden of freedom with the surging
wave of his blood, and indeed he awakened the sleeping Muslim nation. If Imam
Husayn had aimed at acquiring a worldly empire, he would not have traveled the
way he did (from Medina to Karbala').
Husayn weltered in blood and dust for the sake of
Verily he, therefore, became the bed-rock (foundation)
of the Muslim creed; la ila ha illai Allah (There is no god but Allah).
Khwaja Mu'inu 'd-Din Chishti says: He gave his head,
but did not put his hand into the hands of Yazid. Verily, Husayn is the
foundation of la ila ha illa Allah.
Husayn is lord and the lord of lords.
Husayn himself is Islam and the shield of Islam.
Though he gave his head (for Islam) but never pledged Yazid.
Truly Husayn is the founder of "There is no Deity
Brown in his A Literary History of Persia writes: As a
reminder, the blood-stained field of Karbala' where the grandson of the Apostle
of God fell at length, tortured by thirst and surrounded by the bodies of his
murdered kinsmen, has been at any time since then sufficient to evoke, even in
the most lukewarm and heedless, the deepest emotion, the most frantic grief and
the exaltation of spirit before which pain, danger, and death shrink to
Yearly, on the tenth day of Muharram, the tragedy is
rehearsed in Persia, in India, in Turkey, in Egypt, wherever a Shi'ite community
or colony exists; . . . As I write it all comes back; the wailing chant, the
sobbing multitudes, the white raiment red with blood from self inflicted wounds,
the intoxication of grief and sympathy.
Allamah Tabatabai writes: Imam Husayn (Sayyidu sh-
Shuhada', "the lord among martyrs"), the second child of 'ALI and Fatimah, was
born in the year 4 A H, and after the martyrdom of his brother, Imam Hasan
Mujtaba, became Imam through Divine Command and his brother's will.
Imam Husayn was Imam for a period of ten years, all
but the last six months coinciding with the caliphate of Mu'awiyah.
Imam Husayn lived under the most difficult outward
conditions of suppression and persecution.
This was due to the fact that, first of all, religious
laws and regulations had lost much of their weight and credit, and the edicts of
the Umayyad government had gained complete authority and power.
Secondly, Mu'awiyah and his aides made use of every
possible means to put aside and move out of the way the Household of the Prophet
and the Shi'ah, and thus obliterate the name of 'Ali and his family.
And above all, Mu'awiyah wanted to strengthen the
basis of the caliphate of his son, Yazid.
who because of his lack of principles and scruples was
opposed by a large group of Muslims.
Therefore, in order to quell all opposition, Mu'awiyah
had undertaken newer and more severe measures.
By force and necessity Imam Husayn had to endure these
days and to tolerate every kind of mental and spiritual agony and affliction
from Mu'awiyah and his aides-until in the middle of the year 60 AH, Mu'awiyah
died and his son Yazid took his place.
Paying allegiance (bay'ah) was an old Arab practice
which was carried out in important matters such as that of kingship and
Those who were ruled, and especially the well-known
among them, would give their hand in allegiance, agreement and obedience to
their king or prince and in this way would show their support for his actions.
Disagreement after allegiance was considered as
disgrace and dishonour for a people and, like breaking an agreement after having
signed it officially, it was considered as a definite crime.
Following the example of the Holy Prophet, people
believed that allegiance, when given by free will and not through force, carried
authority and weight.
Mu'awiyah had asked the well-known among the people to
give their allegiance to Yazid, but had not imposed this request upon Imam
He had especially told Yazid in his last will that if
Husayn refused to pay allegiance he should pass over it in silence and overlook
the matter, for he had understood correctly the disastrous consequences which
would follow if the issue were to be pressed.
But because of his egoism and recklessness, Yazid
neglected his father's advice and immediately after the death of his father
ordered the governor of Medina either to force a pledge of allegiance from Imam
Husayn or send his head to Damascus.
After the governor of Medina informed Imam Husayn of
this demand, the Imam, in order to think over the question, asked for a delay
and overnight started with his family toward Mecca.
He sought refuge in the sanctuary of God which in
Islam is the official place of refuge and security.
This event occurred toward the end of the month of
Rajab and the beginning of Sha'ban of 60 AH.
For nearly four months Imam Husayn stayed in Mecca in
This news spread throughout the Islamic world. On the
one hand many people who were tired of the iniquities of Mu'awiyah's rule and
were even more dissatisfied when Yazid became caliph, corresponded with Imam
Husayn and expressed their sympathy for him.
On the other hand, a flood of letters began to flow,
especially from Iraq and particularly the city of Kufah, inviting the Imam to go
to Iraq and accept the leadership of the populace there with the aim of
beginning an uprising to overcome injustice and iniquity. Naturally, such a
situation was dangerous for Yazid.
The stay of Imam Husayn in Mecca continued until the
season for pilgrimage when Muslims from all over the world poured in groups into
Mecca in order to perform the rites of the hajj.
The Imam discovered that some of the followers of
Yazid had entered Mecca as pilgrims (hajj) with the mission to kill the Imam
during the rites of hajj with the arms they carried under their special
pilgrimage dress (Ehram). The Imam shortened the pilgrimage rites and decided to
Amidst the vast crowd of people he stood up in a short
speech announced that he was setting out for Iraq.
In this short speech he also declared that he would be
martyred and asked Muslims to help him in attaining the goal he had in view and
to offer their lives in the path of God. On the next day he set out with his
family and a group of his companions for Iraq.
Imam Husayn was determined not to give his allegiance
to Yazid and knew full well that he would be killed.
He was aware that his death was inevitable in the face
of the awesome military power of the Umayyads, supported as it was by corruption
in certain sectors, spiritual decline, and lack of will power among the people,
especially in Iraq.
Some of the outstanding people of Mecca stood in the
way of Imam Husayn and warned him of the danger of the move he was making.
But he answered that he refused to pay allegiance and
give his approval to a government of injustice and tyranny.
He added that he knew that wherever he turned or went
he would be killed.
He would leave Mecca in order to preserve the respect
for t}abuse of God and not allow this respect to be destroyed by having his
blood spilled there.
While on the way to Kufah and still a few days journey
away from the city, he received news that the agent of Yazid in Kufah had put to
death the representative of the Imam in that city and also one of the Imam's
determined supporters who was a well-known man in Kufah.
Their feet had been tied and they had been dragged
through the streets.
The city and its surroundings were placed under strict
observation and countless soldiers of the enemy were awaiting him.
There was no way open to him but to march ahead and to
face death. It was here that the Imam expressed his definitive determination to
go ahead and be martyred; and so he continued on his journey.
Approximately seventy kilometers from Kufah in a
desert named Karbala', the Imam and his entourage were surrounded by the army of
For eight days they stayed in this spot during which
the circle narrowed and the number of the enemy's army increased.
Finally the Imam, with his Household and a small
number of companions were encircled by an army of thirty thousand soldiers.
During these days the Imam fortified his position and made a final selection of
At night he called his companions and during a short
speech stated that there was nothing ahead but death and martyrdom. He added
that since the enemy was concerned only with his person he would free them from
all obligations so that anyone who wished could escape in the darkness of the
night and save his life.
Then he ordered the lights to be turned out and most
of his companions, who had joined him for their own advantage, dispersed. Only a
handful of those who loved the truth about forty of his close aides and some of
the Banu Hashim remained.
Once again the Imam assembled those who were left and
put them to a test. He addressed his companions and Hashimite relatives, saying
again that the enemy was concerned only with his person.
Each could benefit from the darkness of the night and
escape the danger. But this time the faithful companions of the Imam answered
each in his own way that they would not deviate for a moment from the path of
truth of which the Imam was the leader and would never leave him alone.
They said they would defend his Household to the last
drop of their blood and as long as they could carry a sword. On the ninth day of
the month the last challenge to choose between "allegiance or war" was made by
the enemy to the Imam.
The Imam asked for a delay in order to worship
overnight and became determined to enter battle on the next day. On the tenth
day of Muharram of the year 61(680) the Imam lined up before the enemy with his
small band of followers, less than ninety persons consisting of forty of his
companions, thirty some members of the army of the enemy that joined him during
the night and day of war, and his Hashimite family of children, brothers,
nephews, nieces and cousins.
That day they fought from morning until their final
breath, and the Imam, the young Hashimites and the companions were all martyred.
Among those killed were two children of Imam Hasan, who were only thirteen and
eleven years old; and a five-year-old child and a suckling baby of Imam Husayn.
The army of the enemy, after ending the war, plundered the haram of the Imam and
burned his tents. They decapitated the bodies of the martyrs, denuded them and
threw them to the ground without burial.
Then they moved the members of the haram, all of whom
were helpless women and girls, along with the heads of the martyrs, to Kufah.
Among the prisoners there were three male members: a twenty-two years old son of
Imam Husayn who was very ill and unable to move, namely, 'Ali ibn al-Husayn, the
fourth Imam; his four years old son, Muhammad ibn 'Ali, who became the fifth
Imam; and finally Hasan al-Mujtaba, the son of the second Imam who was also the
son-in-law of Imam Husayn and who, having been wounded during the war, lay among
the dead. They found him near death and through the intercession of one of the
generals did not cut off his head. Rather, they took him with the prisoners to
Kufah and from there to Damascus before Yazid. The event of Karbala', the
capture of the women and children of the Household of the Prophet, their being
taken as prisoners from town to town and the speeches made by the daughter of
'Ali, Zaynab, and the fourth Imam who were among the prisoners, disgraced the
Such abuse of the Household of the Prophet annulled
the propaganda which Mu'awiyah had carried out for years. The matter reached
such proportions that Yazid in public disowned and condemned the actions of his
agents. The event of Karbala' was a major factor in the overthrow of Umayyad's
rule although its effect was delayed.
It also strengthened the roots of Shi'ism. Among its
immediate results were the revolts and rebellions combined with bloody wars
which continued for twelve years. Among those who were instrumental in the death
of the Imam not one was able to escape revenge and punishment.
Anyone who studies closely the history of the life of
Imam Husayn and Yazid and the conditions that prevailed at that time, and
analyses this chapter of Islamic history, will have no doubt that in those
circumstances there was no choice before Imam Husayn but to be killed. Swearing
allegiance to Yazid would have meant publicly showing contempt for Islam,
something which was not possible for the Imam, for Yazid not only showed no
respect for Islam and its injunction but also made a public demonstration of
impudently treading under foot its basis and its laws. Those before him, even if
they opposed religious injunctions, always did so in the guise of religion, and
at least formally respected religion.
They took pride in being companions of the Holy
Prophet and the other religious figures in whom people believed. From this it
can be concluded that the claim of some interpreters of these events is false
when they say that the two brothers, Hasan and Husayn, had two different tastes
and that one chose the way of peace and the other the way of war, so that one
brother made peace with Mu'awiyah although he had an army of forty thousand
while the other went to war against Yazid with an army of forty.
For we see that this same Imam Husayn, who refused to
pay allegiance to Yazid for one day, lived for ten years under the rule of
Mu'awiyah, in the same manner as his brother who also had endured for ten years
under Mu'awiyah, without opposing him.
It must be said in truth that if Imam Hasan or Imam
Husayn had fought Mu'awiyah they would have been killed without there being the
least benefit for Islam.
Their deaths would have had no effect before the
righteous appearing policy of Mu'awiyah, a competent politician who emphasized
his being a companion of the Holy Prophet, the "scribe of the revelation," and
"uncle of the faithful" and who used every stratagem possible to preserve a
religious guise for his rule. Moreover, with his ability to set the stage to
accomplish his desires he could have had them killed by their own people and
then assumed a state of mourning and sought to revenge their blood, just as he
sought to give the impression that he was avenging the killing of the third
(Shl'ite Islam) al-Imam al-Husayn ibn 'Ali, peace be
Upon him, said:
Beware of your apologies; for a true believer does not
sin and does not have to apologize, whereas the hypocrite commits sins everyday
and apologizes everyday.
When other people turn to you in need, consider it a
favour of Allah. Do not be wearied of this favour, or it will move on to someone
Experience enhances the intellect.
* * *